How to Stitch: La bouquetiere "Daisy" Sashiko Sampler

By Susan Fletcher
How to Stitch:  La bouquetiere "Daisy" Sashiko Sampler

 How to Stitch:  La bouquetiere "Daisy" Sashiko Sampler 

It looks impressively complicated when it is finished but it is relaxing and easy to do!

This ready to stitch design printed with wash away ink on sarashi-momen (100% cotton) fabric uses  Hitomezashi (one stitch)  Sashiko stitching to create this beautiful stitched 12" X 12" cloth.    The instruction that come in the package are in Japanese only so I've written this blog How to Stitch:  La bouquetiere "Daisy" Sashiko Sampler in English with photos to help.

La bouquetiere "Daisy" sashiko sampler


If you already know this, slide down the page to the step by step instructions :-)

Hitomezashi is a sashiko stitching style.  The designs are made up of single stitches in straight lines across the fabric. The stitching covers the fabric much more densely than the Moyozashi sashiko (large sashiko designs). 

Kugurizashi is a more advanced two part sashiko stitching technique which involves using the Hitomezashi stitching as the base layer to weave threads under to create beautiful patterns and textures.

*This design uses Hitomezashi sashiko stitching only (except for the outline border)

Things you need to know before you start this sashiko sampler:  All the sashiko samplers from Olympus Japan are printed on the same sarashi-momen cotton fabric (Olympus Hana-fukin & Traditional Sashiko, La bouquetiere, Ayufish int. Samplers). This traditional 100% cotton Japanese fabric is woven on the traditional width narrow looms. This means it has selvedges on two edges. The 12" x 12" design is printed on a 26" length of the  fabric and you are meant to fold the unprinted half to the back of the printed half and stitch through both layers. 

The printed design will disappear completely in water so keep it dry until you are finished. Also do not iron before it has been washed.

If you would like your cloth to have finished edges, fold the cloth in half with the printed side inside and stitch the together about 5/8" from the raw edge. (I use a running stitch and sashiko thread)

Now, turn the cloth right side out (print on the top) and finger press the seam flat (no ironing!)

Smooth the fabric layers out, then stitch the two rows around the outer edges. 

Before we leave this general information section here are two photos (borrowed from a different sampler) to review two sashiko basics:

1. Putting many stitches on the sashiko needle at a time. This will give you straighter more even stitching, and it goes along much faster.

gather many stitches at once on your sashiko needle

2. Hitomezashi stitching is  dense so it is important to keep you stitching threads quite loose and to leave a small loop at the end of every line you stitch.  I also stop frequently and holding the edges of the fabric on opposite sides, pull firmly.  Repeat in several places.   This will very likely pull those small loops into the fabric so they disappear and that will make it possible for the finished cloth able to lay flat as the stitches accumulate in it.

In sashiko stitching it is important to leave a small loop of thread on the back of your fabric when you turn corners


The instructions for stitching this "Daisy" sampler start here:

We'll start with the centre "Daisy" design. I am knotting the end of my sashiko thread  and beginning and ending my thread always at the edges.  I like to use a long  sashiko thread for hitomezashi and kugurizashi stitching. (I use only 20" for regular sashiko stitching, but about 40" for hitomezashi and Kuguri - this is the length you get when you open an Olympus 20 meter skeing of sashiko thread and cut through the loop once). You are best to use the length you find comfortable :-)

Stitch all the horizontal lines in the daisy design.

Step 1 Stitch all the horizontal lines for centre 'daisy' design    

  When that is done, stitch all the vertical lines.

When that is done, stitch all the vertical lines.

Next stitch all the diagonal lines in one direction. When that is finished stitch all the diagonal lines in the other direction.

Hitomezashi sashiko daisy stitching finished

The second hitomezashi section is quite quick to do.

As with the daisy design, first stitch all the vertical lines, then stitch all the horizontal lines. 

Stitching sections of  Hitomezashi Sashiko Sampler "Daisy"

Next stitch the diagonal lines, first all in one direction and then all in the other direction.

Stitching sections of  Hitomezashi Sashiko Sampler "Daisy"

Finally, start the third section (all the lines are diagonals).

For this third section, once again start at one corner and stitch all the diagonal lines in one direction. 

I decided to stitch the little squares in my lighter colour blue thread so I am skipping over them, but if you are stitching this section all in one colour then stitch them at the same time. 

Next, stitch all the diagonal lines in the other direction.

If you have not stitched the little squares, do those now.

Then all that is left is to finish is that border!

Stitched section of  Hitomezashi Sashiko Sampler "Daisy"


This is the only kuguri stitch in this sampler.  You'll remember that kuguri means 'weaving under stitch'. Start by bringing you thread to the top of the fabric where you are starting. (I started part way along one side so I didn't have to deal with the corner right away)

Pull your thread all the way through. Now use the eye end of your needle to go under the stitched threads (but not into the fabric) along the outer of line of stitching. Each time, push your needle under the next stitch from the same side. This will create that little C shape. Don't pull too tight :-)

Repeat this with the second row of stitches but push your needle under the stitches the opposite direction so that the C shape is reversed to face the outer line.

Congratulations!  That was a lot of stitching! But you're done and I'm sure it is beautiful!  Now  I would give it some very firm pulls in every direction to help all the threads even out and settle where they belong, then you can soak it in a bowl of warm water and rinse it to remove the printing.

Smooth it out on a clean towel, roll and squeeze the towel to take the excess moisture out, then let it air dry.

Press from the back using a steam iron. 

Congratulations again :-)

You can use it as it is, or sew it into something. These samplers are very absorbent and wash well so they make excellent tea towels if the thought doesn't horrify you too much!  These Olympus sashiko fabric and thread sampler combinations (and I presume all sashiko threads and fabrics ) get prettier with a few trips through the washer and dryer. I have some everyday use kitchen towels to prove it :-)

Enjoy your hitomezashi cloth!

Kind Regards